After a week of high quality grass court tennis, Saturday’s ATP Eastbourne final promises to be a fitting finale to another great tournament at Devonshire park. Lorenzo Sonego is aiming to win his second ATP Title of the season, after winning the Sardinia Open at the beginning of the clay court season. Alex De Minaur is playing in his first grass court final and has improved exponentially on the surface, having reached the quarterfinals of Stuttgart and the semifinals of Queen’s last week. Here is my prediction for Saturday’s final
ATP Eastbourne Final Prediction
Alex De Minaur vs Lorenzo Sonego
Head to Head: 1-0 De Minaur
This promises to be a very tight match. Alex De Minaur has been clinical this week, reaching the final without dropping a set. This is highly impressive when it is taken into account the wide variety of game-styles he has come up against. After defeating home favorite Liam Broady in his first match, De Minaur was particularly impressive in his third round match against Vasek Pospisil, effectively returning the Canadian’s renowned big serve, and effectively neutralizing Pospisil’s ground-strokes from the back of the court. In the semifinal against Soowoo Kwon, De Minaur showcased his athleticism and proved to be the more consistent player from the back of the court. Despite not possessing the most powerful serve, the Australian is able to get more purchase on his first serve because of the surface.
Lorenzo Sonego has made his way through a potentially tricky section of the draw to make the final. In the opening round, the Italian had too much power for John Millman, dispatching the Australian in straight sets. In his quarterfinal match with the unpredictable Kazakh Alexander Bublik, the Italian showed impressive focus and mental strength, especially towards the end of the second set, when Bublik was seemingly disengaged from the match, throwing in multiple underarm serves. Despite being broken when serving for the match, the Italian managed to stay calm and get the win in straight sets.
Against Max Purcell in the semifinals, Sonego cruised through the opening set. However, a medical timeout for the Australian at the start of the second set surprisingly made the Italian lose his focus, and uncharacteristic unforced errors began to creep into his game. At the beginning of the third set, Sonego refocused quickly and began to play clinical aggressive tennis.
It would be fair to say that both players play a different brand of tennis. Sonego has a weapon in his first serve, and he uses it effectively to get his forehand into play. De Minaur is more patient, and looks to use his superior movement to his advantage in order to grind opponents down from the back of the court and force unforced errors from his opponent. Patience defeated aggression in their only encounter last year in Paris, with De Minaur winning in straight sets. However, Sonego’s firepower is suited to fast grass court.
Prediction: Sonego in 3
Main Photo from Getty.